After being mired in what is considered as the biggest corporate hack in history, Sony Pictures Entertainment reached a settlement in a class action suit with its former and current employees, agreeing to pay up to $8 million for losses, preventive measures and legal fees.
The settlement, which was filed with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late Monday, will result in the company paying $10,000 a person, capped at $2.5 million, for losses related to identity theft; up to $1,000 a person for losses pertaining to credit-fraud protection services, capped at $2 million; and as much as $3.5 million in legal fees. As part of the settlement, Sony will continue to provide identity theft protection to its current employees without any charge until December 31, 2017.
In November 2014, a hacker group calling themselves as Guardians of Peace breached the Sony computers and exposed thousands of emails and documents. The hackers said they were trying to derail the release of the movie The Interview, as reported by NBC News.
As a result of the hack, Sony Pictures chairman, Amy Pascal, stepped down from her position after emails wherein she made racial remarks about President Barack Obama’s taste in movies were leaked. Also brought to the fore was the revelation that Jennifer Lawrence was paid only a fraction of what her male costars earned in the movie “American Hustle.”
A court hearing for the approval of the terms of the settlement has been scheduled for November 16, as reported by the Wrap.
Sony Entertainment CEO, Michael Lynton, wrote in a memo to staff, calling the settlement “an important, positive step forward in putting the cyber-attack firmly behind us.” Sony Corp. CEO, Kazuo Hirai, said at a technology conference that the movie studio has “come out more resilient, more strong and they have a very good management team in place now” following the breach.